Friday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Good morning and welcome to my favorite day of the week. Jerry is on his way back to the States and will check in with us later.

Here’s a dog, Border Collie by the looks of it, that takes itself sledding.

Here’s a weird thing to amuse your brain with: the seminal grunge rock song of the 90s auto-tuned to a major key.

After that, listen to the same song covered by The Ukulele Orchestra.

Sonny Bono died today in 1998, so that’s as good an excuse as any to play this song today.

Finally, in Dobrzyn Hili is thinking pragmatically about something very important to her.

Hili: When you’ve cleaned the litter box we will go to the kitchen.
A: I don’t think you are very hungry.
Hili: No, not very, but enough.​



In Polish:

Hili: Jak oczyścisz kuwetę to pójdziemy do kuchni.
Ja: Nie sądzę, żebyś była bardzo głodna.
Hili: Nie, ale wystarczająco.​


  1. Posted January 5, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Prefer the Paul Anka version!


    • Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      OMG – that is … ridiculous …

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Wow. He did it “his way,” I guess.

      • darrelle
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        If you think this is . . ., interesting, have you listened to Pat Boone covering Dio’s Holy Diver or Metallica’s Enter Sandman? I was gonna link to them but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    • Liz
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      This is amazing. I can’t believe he’s still going. He’s touring this year.

  2. Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I highly recommend Joe Brown’s “Ukulele Album” wherein he does a bunch of different covers, mostly of rock tunes.

    Sounds ridiculous at some level; but it’s very good.

    This one I am particularly fond of: Pinball Wizard

    These two will be played at my funeral:
    When I’m Dad and Gone
    I’ll See You in my Dreams (which he played at the “Concert for George”)

  3. Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I actually really like that major transposition of Teen Spirit. And I have reached to maximum allowable comment count per da Roolz …

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      The one that is in the major key sounds like it is an 80s song instead of a 90s song. I actually like it. I also liked the ukulele one.

    • Posted January 5, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the auto-tune version was truly mind-blowing. The ukulele version was good too.

      I was also reminded that I heard an easy listening / elevator / Muzak version once too. That also brings up a mixture of emotions. I love that Nirvana and this song was honored so widely but how could musicians perform this with a straight face? Perhaps they didn’t.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The Ukulele Orchestra — very unplugged. Love their cover of “Psycho Killer.”

  5. Posted January 5, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The d*g is even steering! That.. is awesome.

  6. revelator60
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The Border Collie is exhibit A in the “Dogs are Smarter Than Cats” trial.

    As for “I Got you Babe,” my favorite version is “I Got You MacBabe,” performed by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore on Saturday Night Live in full Scottish garb (Dudley was in drag) and accent: “I got you to kiss good neet” “I got you to hold ma teet”…

    • lkr
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Some dogs st least. The stupidest border collie is probably 40 IQ points past the median for the pedigreed pooches at Westminster.

      And this is not a stupid collie. Underchallenged, maybe.

      • lkr
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        We haven’t had snow this winter. But when we do, my Manxie Sierra will lead me to paths that need shoveling and supervise while I shovel. She’s totally weatherproof otherwise, but hates to wade through the white stuff.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          I guess you’re talking about a Manx cat named Sierra – do you have pics?

  7. Hempenstein
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Is anyone else having trouble running videos here of late? I get “The media could not be played” with the sledding dog, as I have with numerous others in previous posts the last week, at least.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I think it is only embedded twitter videos that deliver the message “The media could not be played”. Is that right?

      There are a lot of reports on this problem. If you see a fix that suggests installing flash please ignore – twitter videos are HTML5 not flash. It has something to do with a CSP [Content Security Policy] clash between your browser & twitter, but don’t expect a fix soon! You can try disabling CSP in your browser which works for some people [not me]


      I have had this problem in Waterfox [a relative of Firefox] for some weeks. My solution is to click on the date below the video which opens the video in its own tab where it plays fine!

      • Charles Minus
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        It’s a Firefox problem. Haven’t been able to find an easy solution except to view it in Chrome where it does fine.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a Firefox problem

      I’ve figured out a solution that works for me – it’s to do with a messed up Twitter cookie that screws with the CSP rules in Waterfox, Firefox & MS Edge browsers.

      [1] If you have a Twitter account, then log out of Twitter
      [2] Close all Twitter tabs if any are open
      [3] Delete ALL Twitter cookies from your browser – this will include getting rid of the one old, bad cookie [instructions for that below]
      [4] Close & open your browser
      [5] If you have a Twitter account, log back into it
      [6] Try to play an embedded Twitter video – if you don’t have a Twitter account [I don’t] you’ll get the message asking if you accept their cookies. So accept their cookies.

      You may find when clicking the video – it doesn’t play. in which case double click or advance the time bar at the bottom by clicking in the bar near the start. It will play in embedded form.


      Firefox menu > Options > Privacy > History Section: Click the “remove individual cookies” link > A box pops up named “Cookies” > In the search field type “twitter” > Around a dozen cookies appear in a list > Click the “Remove All Shown” button at the bottom > Done. Close the Pop up & the “Options” boxes

      • BJ
        Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        How is Firefox these days? I used to use it years ago, but it became extremely slow when I had too many tabs open. I would much prefer using it to Chrome if that issue has been solved.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Firefox is fine today. You might want to take a look at Firefox “web extensions” before moving back – make sure Firefox still operates the way you want it to!

          It used to use a lot of memory per open tab & run slow, but both of those problems are solved. Speed differences between browsers are so small it’s now just a geek thing.

          As you know Firefox is the most flexible of browsers via the addons system. Well they’re dropping addons & replacing them with web extensions. I’m not happy with that so I’ve moved to Waterfox which promises to continually support the addon system as their core mission.

  8. Liz
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This is a clip from Moulin Rouge. It’s the first minute. The Ukulele Orchestra version is good.

    Here We Are Now, Entertain Us! (Moulin Rouge)

  9. Hempenstein
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Also, since I don’t know for musical terminology, in “I Got You, Babe,” how does one describe Cher’s voice? Baritone, at least at first? And her/their range? (Their performance has long been a great one – just stopping now to try to analyze why, musically.)

    • Liz
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Apparently she is a contralto which is the “lowest type of female voice.”

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Cher is contralto [the lowest accepted female vocal category] & she has a range of just over 3 octaves. What I like about Cher is she sings close to her voice ‘breaking’ – right on the edge there – while retaining her tone. Her vibrato is extremely fine – not forced & she can hold a note with or without it.

      She reminds me of the superbly skilled Alison Moyet who sings in the same range. Other worthy examples are Christine McVie, Natalie Merchant & the incredible rocker PJ Harvey [not as skilled in her early work but it doesn’t matter for the female Iggy Pop]. Amy Winehouse is also contralto, but she’s too affected – too many vocal mannerisms to cover up her weaknesses.

      • Liz
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Only You by Alison Moyet is a favorite.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          Thank you. Beautiful timbre to her voice.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        I never thought of that but Alison Moyet is the same type of voice as Cher. I love Moyet

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 5, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          They could be sisters! Here’s an interesting exercise. Below is Chicken Shack’s version of “I’d Rather Go Blind” with Christine Perfect [McVie] on Vocal. McVie drives it around the curves in the road without a bump – never near the edge – & it’s rather beautiful in its ‘white’ purity. Then compare with the original beautiful, rough blues by Etta James & Beyoncé’s overly mannered modern version [both on YouTube].

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Here’s Moyet singing “Invisible from her 1984 album “Alf” = one can imagine Cher covering this easily [& possibly better]

      “Alf” used to be one of my favourite albums, but I can’t listen to stuff from that era now – the 80s-style ‘bright’ Christmassy ‘Live Aid’ production values are unbearable. Even real percussionists tried to copy that drum machine sound to stay in work. ugh.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Liz, Michael – thanx!! I have learned something today!

        (At some future date maybe there can be a discussion on the molecular and anatomical bases of why women cannot be baritones.)

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          There’s a lot of nonsense spouted about singing voice types from the experts – who are interested in categorising voices for their own convenience more than anything else!

          Contralto is rare in the female population – perhaps 1%.. And yet a lot more than 1% of singers are successful, well known female contralto singers – hundreds of them. They are over-represented among singers because we all find women who can sing that range are powerful, sexy etc: Nina Simone, Annie Lennox, Cher, Natalie Merchant, Debbie Harry, Nico [though she can’t actually sing – she’s flat] etc.

          By the same token there are even more extreme, outlier female voices that are baritone – the depth of voice has little to do with body size & more to do with vocal folds [whatever they are] & other hidden features of the voice box. Also one can train somewhat to change ones range. Example: If you want to SMASH the teen girl market then sing high with ‘talkie’ vocals & moronically simple melodies so that your fans can sing along – this explains Bananarama, Nolan Sisters, Spice Girls, Enya blah blah [this is one reason why very poor singers are successful – be as untechnical a singer as possible & your base can relate to your mediocrity]

          It is said Nina Hagen can sing baritone, but I don’t think so. What do you think? It seems somewhat forced [warning – this may frighten the horses]:

      • BJ
        Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        That drum sound wasn’t being copied from this album (and I imagine that’s not what you were suggesting). Producer Hugh Padgham figured it out entirely by accident during the recording of Peter Gabriel’s third solo album. Genesis used it in the recording of “In the Air Tonight” soon after, and it became ubiquitous throughout the 80’s as soon as the music world heard it.

        Here’s a good article on how it was discovered and the mechanics behind it:

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          Yes, I wasn’t referring to that specifically, although in the scheme of things it didn’t bloody help! A horrific musical ‘development’

          I’m turned 60 now & I’ve almost entirely dumped mainstream music post-’82. I stick with the indie bands such as Radiohead, PJ Harvey & Neil Young because they produce their own music & they’ve avoided too much use of dynamic range compression in their recordings. Here is an explanation of what I mean:

          That’s one of the biggest evils in recorded music today *steps off soapbox*

  10. Walt Jones
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Ahh, the halcyon days when the three scariest words in American politics were “Congressman Sonny Bono.”

  11. BJ
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m in love with The Ukulele Orchestra now. I’m listening to the third song in a row on Youtube.

    • BJ
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      This is my favorite so far:

      Man is his voice wonderful.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Very good! The chap on the left with pony tail is very good in other songs. The woman with short hair [3rd from the right] is Kitty Lux who co-founded the outfit. She died six months ago after a long, illustrious, peculiar career in music, theatre [a naked version of the Scottish Play] & performance. I remember her from Sheeny & the Goys!

        HER OBIT

        • BJ
          Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          Yeah, I’ve now listened to nearly everything they have on Youtube 🙂 I’m going to be buying all of their albums. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of them before! They’re amazing.

  12. Mark Ayling
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    How about an electronic version (Abigail), a minor club hit in 1994.
    Or go a capella with the Flying Pickets.

  13. Andrea Kenner
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Weird Al Yankovic’s rendition: Smells Like Nirvana.

  14. Posted January 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the dog: it isn’t taking itself sledding. This is, rather, a great demonstration of an advanced trick.

    The dog is cued by the handler to retrieve the sled. Then there is a convenient edit (where the dog probably gets rewarded for the retrieve) and then the dog is dragging the sled a little farther up the hill. Note that the sled has now been turned around. Then the dog waits for another cue from the trainer, jumps on, and rides. The riding and balancing are impressive. But the video has been edited (also conveniently without sound, so we can’t hear the cues) to make it appear that the dog is playing this game on its own. Not so. The dog never makes a move until it gets cued.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Eileen. Good to know.
      I’m reading your dog blog – busy person you. 🙂

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 5, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Awww you spoilt it for me!

      A cat or a parrot like a kea would do it all by itself, just for the hell of it.


      • Mark Ayling
        Posted January 6, 2018 at 4:13 am | Permalink

        There’s video of a crow doing exactly this. Much more fun than attacking cyclists 😉

        • Mark Ayling
          Posted January 6, 2018 at 4:19 am | Permalink

          *Sigh* that was supposed to be a link.

%d bloggers like this: